To Press Releases listNov 8, 2016

November 8, 2016 - Nestlé Waters Canada appeared before the City of Guelph’s Special Committee of the Whole on Monday, November 7 to discuss Councillor Gordon’s motion related to Nestlé’s Aberfoyle well permit. The company was encouraged by the passion for water and particularly noted the enthusiastic support for investments in water research and a regional, holistic water strategy.

“We are a company that provides Canadians with a healthy beverage choice, produced sustainably in a community where we provide over 300 high quality jobs, and one that supports many other businesses and charitable organizations”, said Debbie Moore, President of Nestlé Waters Canada. “We agree, water sustainability is non-negotiable and that community needs come first.”

While we agree with the spirit of Guelph Council, Nestlé Waters Canada reiterated that water taking in Aberfoyle does not interfere with existing City of Guelph water supply wells. In the entire region, Nestlé’s water withdrawals only account for less than 1 percent of the total water taking. The City of Guelph is also in a separate sub-watershed, and is uphill from Nestlé which is in the Mill Creek sub-watershed. Groundwater water hits Guelph first and flows in a southwest direction towards the Township of Puslinch and Nestlé’s Aberfoyle well.

In advance of the meeting, the Guelph Infrastructure, Development & Enterprise Services City Staff released a report which outlined the need to develop comprehensive water resource management plans to sustain and protect the City’s water supply sources. Based on the report, there was a scenario where the City would need to look at wells outside of the City of Guelph, in the neighbouring Township of Puslinch, for growth beyond 2038. The report states that there were six wells identified to support growth, one of them identified as the “Guelph South Well” in the Puslinch. Feasibility for this well was reviewed using modelling and did not include field testing.

“The best way to determine the potential impact of water taking on local supply is through continued investment in science and data collection,” said Dr. Andreanne Simard, Natural Resources Manager, Nestlé Waters Canada. “Nestlé Waters stands ready to support Staff in developing a thorough approach to water resource management ensuring community needs are met first and foremost. That conversation needs to include the other 99 percent of water users in Puslinch and Guelph to ensure it is a holistic water management plan for the long-term.”

Given that the meeting lasted almost four hours, it was important that Nestlé Waters attended to listen and to transparently answer questions related to the science that drives our business. It was equally important for the company to include a personal anecdote from an employee who has built her successful career at our company. To support their colleagues and demonstrate their support, about 50 of Nestlé Waters local employees, voluntarily attended the Committee of the Whole meeting.

As a next step, Council decided to refer the motion to the November 28 meeting. In the interim, Nestlé Waters Canada has committed to answering any and all questions, from City Staff, Mayor, Council and the public. Public consultation and science-based discussion about water sustainability is extremely important.

For media information please contact:
Jennifer Kerr